An American barista on the fringe of the Nishiki Market district tipped us on Arabica. After a fail to joe it up at Vermillion in Fushimi Inari, we were dying for some artisanal kicks of caffeine.
Modern minimalist aesthetic with a color palette of white and wood I would die for, bonafide baristas totally geeky about their coffee, and well, some kickass coffee. They don't serve any pastries at all, but that snobbery is just as well since any accoutrement is simply a distraction from how you coffee is meant to taste.
The verdict? Go.
It is a challenge to give directions for Kyoto, but Arabica is located on the street leading up to the Yasaka Pagoda (pictured on the right - all I have is a night shot - sorry). We found out by showing an older Japanese couple who barely spoke English but walked us to the door of Arabica anyway after staring at the map for ten minutes. Domo arigato!